A 22-year-old Cornell University wrestler has been charged after a woman said she woke up to find him raping her, and the woman's partner later took a photo that led to his arrest.
(AP) UPDATED 1:36 PM —A Cornell University wrestler has been charged after a woman said she woke up to find him raping her, and the woman's partner later took a photo that led to his arrest.
Peter Mesko, of Honesdale, was charged Tuesday with first-degree rape. He was freed on $5,000 bail, to appear in court Friday. Police didn't know if the 22-year-old had a lawyer. His phone number is unlisted and a call to his parents' home on Thursday wasn't answered.
The Ithaca Journal reported (http://ithacajr.nl/11reBpb) that court papers say the two women were sleeping early Saturday when one awoke to find a stranger on top of her. The women fought him off and ran upstairs.
Investigators say the victim's partner went back to the bedroom and took two pictures of the man lying on the bed, which the women later used to identify Mesko by looking him up on the athletic department's website.
Officer Jamie Williamson of Ithaca Police said Thursday that the assault took place at a residence off campus, but he declined to say whether the victim was a Cornell student.
The court document describes the women as partners and gave the following account:
The two women had gone out for drinks around 11 p.m. Friday and the alleged victim told police she had had two beers, a shot of tequila and a whiskey and Coke. The couple went to her partner's residence at around 1 a.m., went to the partner's bedroom and quickly fell asleep.
The partner was awakened around 1:30 a.m. by the noise of her housemates and their friends playing drinking games outside her room. She noticed some Cornell wrestlers among them when she went out to ask them to quiet down.
The other woman said she woke up at 4:45 a.m. to find a stranger raping her, and her cries awoke her partner. The partner said she recognized the man as a wrestler but didn't know his name. The couple shoved the man off and ran from the room. The partner returned about 10 minutes later to take a photo of his face, then ran back upstairs.
The women said Mesko went upstairs where they were barricaded in another room and tried to get in, but the door was locked. About a half-hour later, the women said, they dashed downstairs, dressed and left the residence, where Mesko was asleep on a futon.
The victim went to an emergency room to have a rape kit done, then contacted police.
University officials said they couldn't comment on the case.
According to the Cornell athletics department website, Mesko is a junior enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Last year, he took third place in the New York State Intercollegiate Tournament.
Mesko is a 2009 graduate of Honesdale High School who participated in wrestling while at the school. He was a four-year letter winner at HHS and was also a two-year letter winner in football.
He is currently a senior at Cornell University.